Dec 5, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers running back Eric Gray (3) runs with the ball against the Florida Gators during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Vols, Commodores carry long skids into rivalry matchup

Vanderbilt and Tennessee renew their annual football rivalry when the Volunteers travel to Nashville for a Saturday afternoon matchup.

If the game is played, which doesn’t seem a given considering Vanderbilt’s roster situation, it’s a great opportunity for one team to end its misery.

The Volunteers (2-6, 2-6 SEC) head west with a six-game losing streak, their longest skid since 1988. All of this year’s setbacks were by double digits, the latest a 31-19 home defeat against No. 6 Florida last weekend.

The Commodores (0-8, 0-8) have lost nine in a row overall and are hoping to avoid the first winless season in school history for a program that began playing in 1890.

It’s Senior Day for Vanderbilt, which had an unscheduled off week when it pulled out of a game at Georgia last Saturday due to COVID-19 issues. Opt-outs left the Commodores in a bad spot with both overall roster numbers as well as position depth.

The same holds true for this week.

Vanderbilt has been particularly hurt by departures on defense. Inside linebacker Dimitri Moore, a preseason third-team All-SEC pick, entered the transfer portal last month. Preseason second-team All-SEC defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo opted out ahead of this week’s game.

The school-issued depth chart illustrated just how precarious a position the Commodores are in heading into Saturday. Vanderbilt listed just five defensive linemen on its depth chart, with no backup for defensive end Nate Clifton.

Nor did it list a No. 2 behind outside linebacker Andre Mintze, perhaps the team’s best pass-rusher behind the departed Odeyingbo. And opposite Mintze, Vanderbilt listed defensive backs Jaylen Mahoney (185 pounds) and Justin Harris (194) as its other two outside linebackers.

Interim coach Todd Fitch said there were some health issues as well, though added that everyone on the depth chart was available to play as of Tuesday.

“It certainly doesn’t hurt us who we play this week and I think that adds to the motivation of the players who are out there,” Fitch said.

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt added some clarity to the Vols’ quarterback competition this week after the school’s depth chart listed Harrison Bailey, J.T. Shrout, Brian Maurer and Jarrett Guarantano as co-starters.

“Harrison and J.T. will take the majority of the reps moving forward,” Pruitt said.

Bailey, a freshman, started the Florida game and completed 14 of 21 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown while absorbing five sacks.

But perhaps the Volunteers found something with Shrout, who entered the Gators game with Tennessee down 31-7 and went 12 of 14 for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Tennessee’s best chance seems to be on the ground with a starting offensive line that averages 316 pounds. Eric Gray (698 rushing yards, 4.8 per carry this year) lit Vanderbilt up last year for 246 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.

The Commodores must make the most of their offensive opportunities. Quarterback Ken Seals (1,689 yards passing, 10 touchdowns, nine interceptions) should be helped by running back Keyon Henry-Brooks, who has amassed 677 yards from scrimmage in only five games.

Tennessee won 28-10 in Knoxville last season, snapping Vanderbilt’s three-game winning streak in the series.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Aug 27th, 12:00 PM

Austin Peay

WKU

@

Aug 27th, 12:30 PM

Nebraska -10.5 -107

Northwestern +10.5 -107

@

Aug 27th, 3:30 PM

Idaho State

UNLV

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Nevada -16.5 -110

New Mexico State +16.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

Wyoming +8.5 -110

Illinois -8.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

UCONN +29.5 -110

Utah State (24) -29.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 5:00 PM

Duquesne

Florida State

@

Aug 27th, 7:00 PM

Charlotte +5.5 -110

Florida Atlantic -5.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 8:15 PM

Florida A&M

North Carolina

@

Aug 27th, 9:00 PM

North Texas -4 -110

UTEP +4 -110

@

Aug 27th, 10:30 PM

Vanderbilt -4.5 -110

Hawaii +4.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 6:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Akron

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Ball State +27.5 -110

Tennessee -27.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Central Michigan +19 -110

Oklahoma State (7) -19 -110

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

West Virginia +7.5 -107

Pittsburgh (13) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

South Carolina State

UCF

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Bryant

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

LIU

Toledo

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

VMI

Wake Forest (15)

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

LA Tech +16 -107

Missouri -16 -107

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Penn State -3.5 -107

Purdue +3.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

NIU

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Alabama A&M

UAB

@

Sep 1st, 9:00 PM

New Mexico State +37.5 -107

Minnesota -37.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 10:00 PM

Northern Arizona

Arizona State

@

Sep 1st, 10:30 PM

Cal Poly

Fresno State

@

Sep 1st, 10:30 PM

Portland State

San Jose State

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Virginia Tech -7.5 -107

Old Dominion +7.5 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Michigan +20 -107

Michigan State (9) -20 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

William & Mary

Charlotte

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

Temple +6.5 -110

Duke -6.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee Tech

Kansas

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Illinois +3.5 +103

Indiana -3.5 +103

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

TCU -9 -107

Colorado +9 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Sam Houston State

Texas A&M

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Rutgers +9 -110

Boston College -9 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

NC State (20) -10 -110

East Carolina +10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

North Carolina -4 -110

Appalachian State +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

South Dakota State

Iowa (23)

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Buffalo +20.5 -110

Maryland -20.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Colorado State +30 -110

Michigan (3) -30 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Central Connecticut State

UCONN

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Delaware

Navy

@

Sep 3rd, 12:30 PM

Richmond

Virginia

@

Sep 3rd, 2:00 PM

Southeast Missouri State

Iowa State

@

Sep 3rd, 2:30 PM

Bowling Green +3 -110

UCLA -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Cincinnati (4) +7.5 -107

Arkansas (21) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (22) +16.5 -107

Georgia (1) -16.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Arizona +10 -110

San Diego State (25) -10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

UTEP +39 -110

Oklahoma (10) -39 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Bethune-Cookman

Miami-FL

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

North Dakota

Nebraska

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Houston (17) -6.5 -110

UTSA +6.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Tulsa -1 -110

Wyoming +1 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Norfolk State

Marshall

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Northern Iowa

Air Force

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Maine

New Mexico

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

WKU -7 -105

Hawaii +7 -105

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Texas State +11 -110

Nevada -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

Troy +21.5 -110

Ole Miss (11) -21.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

UC Davis

California

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

BYU (19) -13 -110

USF +13 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 5:00 PM

Nicholls State

South Alabama

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Rice +33.5 -110

USC -33.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Middle Tennessee +4.5 -110

James Madison -4.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Morgan State

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Florida Atlantic -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Mercer

Auburn

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Utah (12) -1.5 -107

Florida +1.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Miami-OH +20 -110

Kentucky (18) -20 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Elon

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Albany-NY

Baylor (5)

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Illinois State

Wisconsin

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Massachusetts +31.5 -110

Tulane -31.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Army +3 -110

Coastal Carolina -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Liberty -4 -110

Southern Miss +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Grambling State

Arkansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Southeastern Louisiana

Louisiana-Lafayette (16)

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Utah State (24) +34.5 -106

Alabama (2) -34.5 -106

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Memphis +12.5 -110

Mississippi State -12.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Georgia State +11 -110

South Carolina -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Notre Dame (8) +13.5 -107

Ohio State (6) -13.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

SMU -7.5 -110

North Texas +7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Colgate

Stanford

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +37 -110

Texas -37 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Murray State

Texas Tech

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Louisville -4 -110

Syracuse +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 9:30 PM

Idaho

Washington State

@

Sep 3rd, 10:30 PM

Boise State +4 -110

Oregon State -4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 10:30 PM

Kent State +21.5 -110

Washington -21.5 -110

@